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Mon political parties remain uncertain whether to compete in by-election

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No potential candidates have surfaced to represent Mon political parties in the by-elections for the Pyithu Hluttaw position of Chaungzone Township, Mon State.

The Union Election Commission announced on October 23 that a by-election will be held on April 1, 2017, to fill the current 19 vacant constituencies across the country, including those in Karenni, Mon, Shan, Chin and Arakan states as well as Rangoon and Pegu divisions.

Map displaying the vacant constituencies across the country for the 2017 by-election (Photo: Myanmar Pillar Institute)
Map displaying the vacant constituencies across the country for the 2017 by-election (Photo: Myanmar Pillar Institute)

“Both in the 2010 election and the 2015 election, the party candidates only competed based on the townships’ [level AMDP’s] appointed candidates. Therefore, this is the township people’s decision on whether they will compete or not. It’s their desire, which we at the headquarters permitted, to appoint the candidates. However, the headquarters have decided we won’t select for that,” said Dr. Min Nwe Soe, General Secretary of All Mon Regions Democracy Party (AMDP).

Although the AMDP’s Nai Hla Maung was elected for the Chaungzone Township’s Pyithu Hluttaw constituency in the 2010 election, the AMDP was defeated by the National League for Democracy (NLD) in the 2015 election.

In the 2015 election, NLD’s Daw Khin Htay Kyour won the Chaungzone Township’s Pyithu Hluttaw constituency, defeating the AMDP, the Mon National Party (MNP) and the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). However, it has been held up in a constitutional tribunal, and the constituency remains vacant.

“Our party’s candidate already competed for the [Chaungzone Township’s Pyithu Hluttaw] constituency in 2015. Nevertheless, in accordance with our policy, [it is possible that] we will compete for the vacant constituency in this by-election. However, we have not chosen the party candidates for the by-election yet,” said Nai Layea Tama, general secretary of the MNP.

The general secretary continued that the chosen MNP candidate will be appointed at its upcoming central executive committee meeting before the end of November.

According to the UEC’s announcement, the respective parties must submit their candidate lists for the by-election as of November 28 with submissions closing on December 7.

It’s reported that the two major parties, the NLD and the USDP will compete for all vacant constituencies in the by-election.

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